Archive for February, 2012

A three night stay over Presidents’ Day saves 25% at Port Washington Inn February 14, 2012


George Washington says 25% off a three night stay at Port Washington Inn in honor of his birthday!

That’s right!  George Washington resides on the back deck of Port Washington Inn, a vantage point that allows him to greet guests as they come and go from the inn.  His birthday (i.e., Presidents’ Day) is, he feels, a very good excuse to celebrate!  What better way to celebrate than by enjoying three nights  of generous hospitality, serenity, elegance, & comfort at the Port Washington Inn?  Save 25% on a three night stay or 15% on two nights.

George’s reputation with cherry trees aside,  he agrees that our award-winning Door County Cherry Bread Pudding is a must to help celebrate his birthday……we think you’ll agree!

Port Washington Inn Gingerbread Cookies February 5, 2012

In earlier years when Port Washington Inn was open year round, we often served gingerbread cookies to our guests for their afternoon snack in December, and many a guest returned home with the recipe in hand.  These past several years, we have closed the inn for the month of December in order to spend the holidays with our family where the gingerbread tradition all began.  The beauty of this dough is that it is very forgiving for little hands to work with and, since it has no eggs, we needn’t be worried if a bit of raw dough is sampled now and then!

This year Zaida, age three, was eager to make gingerbread cookies with grandma; we had lots of fun!  In advance, grandma had mixed the dough and chilled it.  She had also found small holiday tins in which to package the gingerbread for Zaida’s gift giving.  Zaida was very proud to have tins of gingerbread cookies she had made to give to her family and friends!

Here’s the recipe in case you’d like to begin a similar holiday tradition!

Port Washington Inn Gingerbread Cookies

1/3 cup soft shortening

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1-1/2 cups dark molasses

2/3 cup cold water

6 cups unbleached flour

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix shortening, brown sugar, and molasses thoroughly; stir in water.

Blend dry ingredients, then combine the wet and dry mixtures and mix thoroughly.

Chill several hours or overnight.  Allow dough to warm slightly at room temperature before rolling out:

approximately 3/8″ thick for small cookies or 1/2″ thick for larger cookies.  Cut out and place on a lightly

greased baking sheet, allowing some space between cookies for expansion as they bake.

Bake in 350 degree oven until they are puffed and baked through but not dry (10 minutes is typical in our

AGA baking  oven for the tiny gingerbread cookies we make).

Decorating your cookies is all about being creative and there are lessons to be learned!  Zaida and I discovered a trick to make the colored sprinkles stay on the cookies; we kept a small ramekin of water nearby and used our fingers to ‘paint’ the top of the cookie with water before dipping it into a pie tin of sprinkles.  This worked because our cookies were tiny ones that could easily be inverted.  If adding sprinkles to larger cookies, paint the top with water and then shake the sprinkles on.   The cinnamon dots make great buttons!

This dough also makes excellent tree decorations.  Use a toothpick to create a hole in the top prior to baking. When cookies are thoroughly cooled, insert ribbon and hang.  The cookies harden with exposure to the air and can be kept in a dry place from year to year.